Weighing the Facts

by mpett3 on September 15, 2013 - 3:15pm

In a recent article by Kristin Leutwyler (2006) entitled “Dying to be thin” she discusses her own battle with an eating disorder along with information about eating disorders.  Kristin had anorexia nervosa as an adolescent and she struggled with it for quite a while, but was eventually able to recover and now lives a normal life.  There are three main different types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating.  Anorexia occurs when a person is not eating enough of what their body needs to maintain a healthy diet.  Out of these three types of disorders, anorexia is the easiest to spot because most anorexics tend to look very malnourished.  The personality of an anorexic is usually a perfectionist and they also tend to be very good students.  Bulimics are people that binge eat, but later purge to get rid of the food in their systems.  They are much more difficult to spot due to the fact they tend to be very secretive when they do this.  People that become bulimic are usually adventurous and outgoing people.  Binge eaters, which are people that eat until the point that they are sickly full, can also be quite challenging to spot because they do all of their binge eating in private so if no one sees them doing this, no one can really help them.  There are very dangerous effects that these disorders can cause which can severely damage your body.  Due to the lack of nutrients in the body of an anorexic, they can be in danger of heart failure.  Bulimia can cause people to go into cardiac arrest because they empty their bodies of necessary minerals without ever replacing them.  Binge eating can also cause very serious problems including the rupturing of the stomach and the esophagus.  For people that have eating disorders, the best thing to do is get help before any serious damage is done to their bodies.  In most cases therapy is the best way to help someone work through their eating disorder. 

 I think that the most important point in this article is that eating disorders are caused by social pressures and unreal expectations of what people’s bodies should look like so they could be easily prevented.  This article was very well put together and I believe the author did a very nice job explaining the different types of eating disorders and discussing how they can affect a person’s body.  The information that she presented was backed up by research done by others and was cited throughout the article to show that it was by a reliable source.  Leutwyler also shows sensitivity toward this subject because she had this disorder so she knows firsthand how difficult it is to overcome it.


Leutwyler, K. (2006). Dying to Be Thin. Scientific American Special Edition, 16(4), 84-88.




I have chosen to respond to this piece of writing because even though eating disorders are so common in today’s society, I was not aware of all the different criteria’s for the different types. I think it’s interesting that someone took the time to explain the different personality traits people with certain disorders are more likely to have, and also I think it’s quite interesting to point out the dangers of having these disorders. You did a very nice job explaining each disease in detail. I am interested with this article because I think it is important that people are more aware about what is going on in society, also because if people become more aware they will be less likely to impose such pressures on people who have developed these diseases. I think you did a very good job presenting the facts about eating disorders and why they are so common in today’s society. I agree with you about how they can be prevented and I think people should make more of an effort to insure that they are prevented in future.